MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Early voting is officially underway in Shelby County.
On the first day of early voting across Shelby County, there are big decisions on the biggest ballot in eight years.
At the 26 early voting sites across the county, voters such as Bernard Johnson are making their choices on the longest ballot in county politics.
“The ballot is too long. There were too many candidates,” Johnson said. “There really wasn’t enough information to evaluate them in advance.”
There are a whopping 163 races and 344 candidates. But no voter will have all 163 races on their ballot because some are for district seats, and 52 races are where some candidates don’t have opposition.
To make the process simpler, the election commission and Shelby County Voter Alliance have teamed up.
“To raise voter awareness around the ballot this year, around the changes that are happening,” said Ian Randolph with the Shelby County Voter Alliance. “Since the census happen, we went through a big redistricting process and over 70 percent of the citizens of Shelby County have been impacted.”
The ballot has everything from municipal to federal positions, and the amendment to extend term limits for the Memphis City Council and Memphis mayor.
One reason it so long is because court judges, who have eight-year terms, are up for election, along with the district attorney.
“Just bring a photo ID, and as I said please, please take a look at the ballot on our website shelbyvote.com or electionsshelbytn.gov, and pack your patience,” Shelby County Election Administrator Linda Phillips said.
“Do your research, and make your decision so you know when you get in that voting booth who you’re voting for, and you can expedite the process,” Randolph said.
Early voting in Shelby County ends on Saturday, July 30. Election day is August 4.